sport news IAN LADYMAN: Real progress will be referring to Jake Daniels as a footballer ... trends now

sport news IAN LADYMAN: Real progress will be referring to Jake Daniels as a footballer ... trends now
sport news IAN LADYMAN: Real progress will be referring to Jake Daniels as a footballer ... trends now

sport news IAN LADYMAN: Real progress will be referring to Jake Daniels as a footballer ... trends now

The most heartening conversation of the week was the one between Blackpool team-mates Jake Daniels and Marvin Ekpiteta.

After Daniels revealed himself as the country's first openly gay men's professional footballer, someone with too much time and not enough brains went digging in Ekpiteta's social media history and discovered some homophobic content from when he was 17.

From here the story could have headed south quickly. A day to savour could have turned in to something else altogether.

But, instead, the two men sorted it out between them. Ekpiteta apologised sincerely and Daniels was happy enough with that.

'What you said 10 years ago doesn't define the man you are today,' said Daniels on Twitter.

'I am proud to be your team-mate. We are all moving football forwards together.'

The most heartening talk of the week was between Jake Daniels (left) and Marvin Ekpiteta

The most heartening talk of the week was between Jake Daniels (left) and Marvin Ekpiteta

Daniels has revealed himself as the country's first openly gay men's professional footballer

Daniels has revealed himself as the country's first openly gay men's professional footballer

There are two issues at play here. The first is that concerning historical social media posts. The FA are looking into what Ekpiteta said and that seems wrong, sad and depressing but also understandable at the same time.

For sure I wouldn't want anybody to have historical access to some of the things I thought and said when I was a teenager. 

Nobody is properly formed as an individual when they are just out of school and, as such, is it right to be judged some 10 or so years later?

Equally, if the FA choose to ignore such things, where does the governing body choose to draw the line? Ten years? Five years? Two years? It's a desperately difficult topic for them.

His Blackpool team-mate Ekpiteta was found to have made some homophobic comments on social media when he was 17 but Daniels accepted his apology and put the matter behind them

His Blackpool team-mate Ekpiteta was found to have made some homophobic comments on social media when he was 17 but Daniels accepted his apology and put the matter behind them

More widely and more encouragingly, Daniels and Ekpiteta have shown us all the way to move forward when it comes to the matter of homosexuality in football. To these two players, these things simply do not matter. They are team-mates and that's the only tag they care about.

For too long the media and some football supporters have spoken with too much relish about the day a male player would finally come out. I have always had considerably less interest.

If we are ever truly able to say that the professional game is a sport for everyone then we really must accept that these things are not relevant. Are we there yet? Maybe not.

Daniels has done a wonderful thing, both for himself and for any other young gay player out there who may previously have wondered if professional

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